US DOE Announces Pollution-Free Power Plant Plans

March 30, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

The US Department of Energy (DOE, Washington, DC) announced that the United States is taking the lead in forming a new international effort to advance carbon capture and storage technology as a way to reduce greenhouse emissions. The United States will lead a $1 billion, public-private effort to construct the world's first fossil fuel, pollution-free power plant. The plant, known as FutureGen, will serve as a living prototype of new carbon sequestration technologies and produce both electricity and hydrogen.

Carbon sequestration is a rapidly advancing area of study that has been singled out as one of the most promising approaches for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It encompasses a variety of new methods for capturing carbon dioxide from the energy plant exhaust or extracting it directly from the atmosphere, then permanently isolating it. The hydrogen would be extracted for use in powering a turbine or fuel cell to generate electricity, or it could also be used in a refinery to help upgrade petroleum products. The plant could also serve as the model for future hydrogen-production facilities that would produce fuel for a new fleet of hydrogen-powered cars and trucks.